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Body protection / exo-cage-ish idea

Discussion in '1973-1991 K5 Blazer | Truck | Suburban' started by Twiz, Oct 27, 2001.

  1. Twiz

    Twiz 1/2 ton status

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    Just an idea kicking around.

    Take some 1 1/2" tubeing, split it down the center. So you end up with a length of half pipe. Weld the tubeing to the body all the way down to the tail lights, following the body line. Split it at the doors and cut it back, so the door can be opend.

    Brace it inside with some brackets off the cage for support. (kinda'like the Defender 90s)

    At the tail lights, run the tubeing over the lens and around the back, stoping at the tail gate.

    Add a hoop around the windshield, following the A-piller, for some tree branch protection. (like the Defender 90s)

    Add some legs running down from the main half-pipe tubeing, down to some body mounted rocker bars (rock-sliders). Do the samething just behind the doors. Also, run some legs down from the main tubeing, behind the rear fenders and under the tail lights.

    This would only add a inch and a half to the body width, and offer -some- bodyprotection. Probably not enuff to keep the dents out of it, but enuff to keep from ripping panels off the thing.

    I think shapeing it and geting a good clean fit would be relitivly easy but time consuming. On the other hand, welding it up might be ruff, and figureing out the braces to the cage would be tricky.

    Whadya' think? Anything you like/dis-like? Any input?

    <font color=blue>Twiztid</font color=blue>&lt;P ID="edit"&gt;&lt;FONT class="small"&gt;&lt;EM&gt;Edited by Twiztid on 10/27/01 07:00 PM.&lt;/EM&gt;&lt;/FONT&gt;&lt;/P&gt;<P ID="edit"><FONT class="small">Edited by Twiztid on 10/28/01 06:14 PM.</FONT></P>
     
  2. shaggyk5

    shaggyk5 1/2 ton status

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    Re: Body protectin / exo-cage-ish

    Go buy a Defender 90.





    J/k!! [​IMG] Sounds cool but like you said, time consuming. the braces would be the worst part IMHO.

    --matt
    <font color=blue>86, 350 crate, 33's.</font color=blue>
    <font color=red>Lop Sop Doi Off-Roader</font color=red>
     
  3. BadDog

    BadDog SOL Staff Member Super Moderator Author

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    Re: Body protectin / exo-cage-ish

    What do I think?

    (Voice of Cheech Marin) Aye, man, pass some of that over here! Wow! That must be some good @##$%!"

    LOL [​IMG] Couldn't resist.

    Honestly, I think it is too much work for the benefit. The half pipe would loose most of its strength and welding it to the body would be a truly royal pain, IMHO. Add to that working out the braces and getting all that done so that there is some benefit. Now, that is just looking at the effort vs. real hardcore benefit (and just my opinion anyway) but, if you are looking at it as something that would also set your rig apart from the crowd, maybe it would be worth it from that standpoint.

    Russ

    85 K30 CUCV, 350 TBI, TH400, 205, D60/C14, 4.56 Locked
    Some day: 4" lift, 44" tires, massive cutting, shorter wb and rear overhang.
     
  4. Grim-Reaper

    Grim-Reaper 3/4 ton status Author

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    Re: Body protectin / exo-cage-ish idea

    Cut the fender off. make it attach like a prerunner. Put a 2 inch tube tied into the roll cage just low enough that the pannel will fit back on. Put a hoop that will protrude through the fender in front of the tail light. That's what I'm tossing around. Just take the fender off for wheeling. attach it with som dzus fasteners so it take no time. No worries about the body. I get the rears not the front. I'm sick of spend half a day knocking fenders out enough to put new tail lights in. My driverside rear is trashed. ask anyone that saw it at Dixie run.

    Women dig dents and flat paint!
    <a target="_blank" href=http://communities.msn.com/OffroadK5s>communities.msn.com/OffroadK5s</a>
    75 Jimmy, Dollar
    Grim-Reaper
     
  5. shaggyk5

    shaggyk5 1/2 ton status

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    Re: Body protectin / exo-cage-ish idea

    Dzus. What a silly word. Say that ten times and i swear you'll giggle.

    Dzus.
    Dzus.
    Dzus.
    Dzus.
    Dzus.
    Dzus.
    Dzus.
    Dzus.
    Dzus.
    Dzus.
    hehehe......

    --matt
    <font color=blue>86, 350 crate, 33's.</font color=blue>
    <font color=red>Lop Sop Doi Off-Roader</font color=red>
     
  6. Twiz

    Twiz 1/2 ton status

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    Re: Body protectin / exo-cage-ish

    FFFFFTTTTT......ack.

    Don't dig it huh?
    What I had in mind was more like a "full-body" bumper thing. Not really a full blown Exo-cage. I'm thinking, if the trucks going to rub, than give it something to rub on, other than the body panels. (Bad dog)

    I like the remoable body panel idea. Do you plan on just removeig the rear fender skin, or the hole fender as an assembly? (Grimm)


    <font color=blue>Twiztid</font color=blue>
     
  7. ftn96

    ftn96 1/2 ton status

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    Re: Body protectin / exo-cage-ish

    [​IMG] The best protection is "Avoidance"... As in avoid the body snatchers!!!![​IMG]
    Exo-s look mean though.

    Surgeon General's Warning:
    Viagra and steroids may be harmful to your spouse![​IMG]
    <a target="_blank" href=http://www.nashvillek5.freeservers.com>www.nashvillek5.freeservers.com</a>
     
  8. BadDog

    BadDog SOL Staff Member Super Moderator Author

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    Re: Body protectin / exo-cage-ish

    Yeah, I get the "full body bumper" thing and "give it something to rub on". My concern was the benefit provided by the split tubing vs. the effort in cutting it lengthwise and forming/attaching it to the body.

    To provide significant strength, I think you would need to weld it all the way down on both sides (not an easy job joining tubing to thin sheet with a strong weld). That is so the split tubing can not flatten out in one spot (bending there) when several hundred pounds start sliding across it. For example, if you take a common drinking straw (in good condition) hold it by the ends while pressing it against your leg, you would feel a noticeable (albeit small) amount resistance before it "snaps" (rapidly deforms) forming a crimp and allowing the straw to bend easily. Then, take a razorblade and cut another straw and do the same test. Almost no resistance at all. If you could fix a piece of flat plastic or something across the open channel (forming a "D") then the strength would be somewhere in the middle between the two extremes (but, I think, closer to full round)

    So, assuming you take the time to carefully split the tubing uniformly down those long lengths. And somehow form it to the proper contour without weakening the 1/2 tube (mandrel bend before cut?). And then successfully weld the tubing down the full length of both sides without major distortion of the flat panels (which would kind of invalidate the whole point). And then, you successfully brace it to the cage so that there are no unsupported spans above some reasonable length. Then, I think you might make an appreciable difference in some cases (where the obstacle is nice enough to line up with the pseudo-cage). However, in reality there are going to be many areas where significant spans will have no bracing. A sharp (small area of concentrated weight) local impact on any significant span will still collapse it (or at least deform it significantly).

    And those points are just the shortcomings with respect to a full cage (the obvious benefit over exo is the reduced size). Another point, verified by looking at the many rigs with full exo-cages, is that many (most?) obstacles are not nice enough to be broad and flat enough (or line up nicely) to impact cleanly on the bars without still gouging into the sheet metal anyway. In fact, I have seen more than one exo rig hung up on it's protective cage (which your idea would make less likely). Sure, the bars will reduce or eliminate the damage in many cases but, I don't see the return on effort expended. Of course, this goes back to avoiding sliding along the body anyway, but, the slider surfaces are handy when we miscalculate (especially with a roll) or it can't be avoided.

    Oh, and don't forget, when it does deform, it will be that much harder to pull out (or replace a panel). [​IMG]

    So, I guess what I'm saying is, IMHO, the return (when considered as protection from damage) would not be sufficient to offset the effort required to make that return significant. However, if the effort is put in to make sure a nice job is done (including looking good) then, based on your description, that would be ONE WICKED LOOKING RIDE! [​IMG] Talk about not blending in with the crowd! LOL. And, it would provide a certain amount of added strength and integrity in the panels, I just debate whether or not it will make a big difference (i.e. prevent or significantly reduce damage) when "sliding along" obstacles.

    Hmmm, rather than go the whole body route, maybe it would make more sense to choose a combination of "target" areas? Maybe grab the easier areas (at least from a fitting viewpoint) like down the horizontal body lines. You might want to rethink the vertical sections anyway since they might lead to getting hung up, especially if something gouged into the unprotected area before hanging against the pipe sections. Anyway, grab the easier bits and then some high problem target areas like the taillight openings. Maybe a set of removable frame/cover deals like some of the soccer-mom SUVs have but with real value. Maybe split 1" x 0.25" for a frame (with 1 x 0.125 flat stock "D" base) with some 0.375 bar stock fitted very close to the lens.

    Anyway, just a few shots from the peanut gallery...

    Hey, got any updated pics? Next time I'm up that way I gotta stop in and see that beastie.

    Russ

    85 K30 CUCV, 350 TBI, TH400, 205, D60/C14, 4.56 Locked
    Some day: 4" lift, 44" tires, massive cutting, shorter wb and rear overhang.
     
  9. CK5

    CK5 In my underwear Administrator Premium Member GMOTM Winner Author

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    Re: Body protectin / exo-cage-ish

    How about some plate steel or diamond plate rivited on to the sides up to the main crease ala jeep corners, this would only make the sides 3/16" wider and still be allowed to slide over rocks and could be painted the same color as your K5.

    Steve

    Bandwidth FREE ZONE

    Mall-Running poseur 4x4 with curb-feelers
     
  10. Grim-Reaper

    Grim-Reaper 3/4 ton status Author

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    Re: Body protectin / exo-cage-ish

    Why take the time to split the pipe at all. Your already talking welding the lenght. Put a slot in the body and weld the whole tube to it would make the most sence.
    I did some looking at our 79. My 75 the gas cap is flush to the body (yes I have ripped it off also) Putting the filler neck for the 79 would recess it some so that it is more protected and then put the door on it like the 79 has on the fender. Again it would be off the truck for wheeling so no worries.


    Women dig dents and flat paint!
    <a target="_blank" href=http://communities.msn.com/OffroadK5s>communities.msn.com/OffroadK5s</a>
    75 Jimmy, Dollar
    Grim-Reaper
     
  11. BadDog

    BadDog SOL Staff Member Super Moderator Author

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    Re: Body protectin / exo-cage-ish

    Looking at Tizted's original description, man, THAT'S ALLOT OF SLOTS! [​IMG] Seems to me like more work but, either way, too much work for me...

    Hehe, why not go crazy? Just remove all the skins and build an *indo*cage along the major body lines! Then, sink your dzus fastener receivers into the indo-cage. At the trail, just pop the fasteners and set the skins aside but you still have the K5 lines in wire frame! [​IMG]

    Russ

    85 K30 CUCV, 350 TBI, TH400, 205, D60/C14, 4.56 Locked
    Some day: 4" lift, 44" tires, massive cutting, shorter wb and rear overhang.
     
  12. Grim-Reaper

    Grim-Reaper 3/4 ton status Author

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    Re: Body protectin / exo-cage-ish

    We need to get you on some real trails. the only way to avoid some stuff is to stay on pavement hehehe.

    Women dig dents and flat paint!
    <a target="_blank" href=http://communities.msn.com/OffroadK5s>communities.msn.com/OffroadK5s</a>
    75 Jimmy, Dollar
    Grim-Reaper
     
  13. pcorssmit

    pcorssmit 1/2 ton status

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    Re: Body protectin / exo-cage-ish

    As long as you don't mind a little warpage, its not too hard to join 3/16 to the body sheet metal. It can be done without warpage, it just takes longer. I have some parts with 1/4 plate welded to the sheet metal. Of course, I don't care about warpage, so it didn't take long at all. Just keep the heat on the plate; watch your gun angle.

    Pete

    '83 K5, 350 TBI (ex 6.2), 700R4, NP208, Dana 60/14 bolt, 4.56s, Detroits, 3" lift, 15-39.5x15 TSLs
    '97 Dodge 2500 4x4 CC LB Sport, Cummins 5 spd
     
  14. Stephen

    Stephen 1/2 ton status Moderator Vendor

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    I'm down to the point of taking the bedsides off, putting a serious taper to them (ala walker's truck) or just protecting the tail lights and letting the rest get bent. There's only so much you can do to protect a huge body and I'm not willing to carry the weight that it takes to keep it looking like a K5 and have all the body in the stock position. I think screwing some 3/16 alum plate to the entire rear might be the best combo of strength and weight, but what a pain, and it's still heavy. Also, hitting the body hard enough to really tear it up usualy means it's going to hinder your forward progress so it really needs to be out of the way.
    If you have specific spots on favorite trails that you can armor against, by all means for it, but there's too many different kinds of rocks and trees out there to keep them all off effectively.
    Grim, take a look at the flatbed scout in the Kremling crawl pics, it's a pretty effective setup. Basically remove the bedsides and build a small bed to carry gear. Not much to hit and if you do it doesn't matter. You could hang the 'sides over it but I see the bedsides being left at home more and more as you go. A buddy used to take off his glass frontend on the trail and after about 2 trips he just left it at home and built a new hood that only covers the motor and radiator.

    Making the world better, one truck at a time.
    SW-ORD
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  15. CK5

    CK5 In my underwear Administrator Premium Member GMOTM Winner Author

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    How about just inboarding the bed sides all together right after the door, kind of like a step side truck bed without the fenders and take the doors off of course. Most of the time the problem is from the doors rearward that gets hung up.

    Steve

    Bandwidth FREE ZONE

    Mall-Running poseur 4x4 with curb-feelers
     

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